August 10, 2015

Anti-Piracy Group Hits Indie Creators For Using the Word 'Pixels'

An anti-piracy firm working for Columbia Pictures has hit Vimeo with a wave of bogus copyright takedowns just because people used the word 'Pixels' in their video titles. Several indie productions are affected, including an art-focused NGO, an award-winning short movie and a royalty free stock footage company.
 Tens of millions of DMCA-style notices are sent to online services every week complaining about copyright infringement. While most are accurate, some contain errors.
Some take screwing up to a whole new level.
This week anti-piracy group Entura International sent a notice to Vimeo in what first appeared to be an effort to stop piracy of the Columbia movie ‘Pixels’. Not only did it fail to do that in every way possible, it hit a number of indie creators and filmmakers instead.
Founded in November 2004, NeMe describes itself as a non-profit NGO and an ‘Independent Museum of Contemporary Art’.
“Our NGO has just received a DMCA notice for a video we produced in 2006 entitled ‘Pixels’,” the group told Vimeo this week.
“The video was directed by a Cypriot film-maker using his own photos and sounds/music on a shoestring budget and infringes no copyright.”
Sadly for NeMe, however, it has now been resigned to history.
But upsetting the NGO was just the tip of the iceberg. The notice goes on to hit an embarrassing array of entirely non-infringing works.
“Life Buoy is my project for my degree at the National University of Arts from Bucharest,” creator Dragos Bardac explains.
“The film was made in mid 2010 and it is a music video for the song Life buoy by the band The Pixels. I used a mix of stop motion animation techniques in order to tell the story.”
But it doesn’t stop there.
Published on Vimeo in 2011, “Pantone Pixels” is described by creator Rob Penny as a “personal project that took me a very long time”.

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